Google PowerMeter

by Rob on April 8, 2009

Google PowerMeter

The Google PowerMeter underscores, at least for me, why a company like Google is head and shoulders above a company like Yahoo! It’s called innovation. Google does it; Yahoo! doesn’t. The idea behind Google PowerMeter is simple. With the use of smart meters, homeowners and business can monitor their electricity usage via the internet. Here’s how the good folks at Google describe the project:

Google PowerMeter, now in prototype, will receive information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provide anyone who signs up access to her home electricity consumption right on her iGoogle homepage. The graph below shows how someone could use this information to figure out how much energy is used by different household activities.

Some Google employees have been testing the system, and the results speak for themselves:

“After installing Google PowerMeter, we immediately switched out all our lights for CFLs and our usage dropped by about 13%. Now I continue to use the product to monitor our baseload and if it’s unusually high, it probably means that I’ve left one of our silent computers on.”–Karen, Google Program Manager

“By monitoring my energy use, I figured out that the bulk of my electricity was caused by my two 20-year-old fridges, my incandescent lights and my pool pump, which was set to run more than necessary. By replacing the refrigerators with new energy-efficient models, the lights with CFLs and setting the pool pump to only run at specified intervals, I’ve saved $3,000 in the past year and I am on track to save even more this year! “–Russ, Google Hardware Engineer

Russ needs to get off the grid. Anyway, check out this video of Google PowerMeter that explains it all:

Hat Tip: Resource Based Living

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